Now That We Have Antiretroviral Drugs (ARV or HAART), Does HIV Still Matter?
Cass Mann, an HIV-positive gay man and the founder of UKâs only gay menâs HIV/AIDS charity Positively Healthy (http://www.posh-uk.org.uk/) talks about why HIV is still dangerous, and safer sex is still vital, even in the age of antiretroviral medications (ARV) and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Today, HIV positive people are treated with a combination of multiple ARVs/HAARTs. Selecting a combination of ARVs/HAARTs for a particular patient is a process of identifying a combination of ARVs/HAARTs that will effectively treat that patient's strain(s) of HIV and that they can also tolerate. ARVs/HAARTs can have serious side effects. In many cases, people can't tolerate the side effects of an ARV/HAART, so they're unable to take that ARV/HAART. Sometimes, people experience side effects with every combination of ARVs/HAARTs they try, are unable to take any ARVs/HAARTs, and die as a result. Many strains of HIV are resistant to one or more ARVs/HAARTs, so those ARVs/HAARTs won't help you against that strain. It's important to realize that taking ARVs/HAARTs is actually taking chemotherapy for life, and we don't know what the long-term effects of ARVs/HAARTs will be. For more information, visit http://www.posh-uk.org.uk/ and http://www.AIDSvideos.org/.